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Legal Studies Resources on the Web

Starting Points

Find Law: Internet Legal Resources
Browse subjects like "Civil Rights" or enter a search like "Internet" on this legal subject collection with a search engine.  Topics include organizations, laws, news, reference, practice forms, subject outlines, law class exams; links to primary and secondary sources; geared toward lawyers, students, business people, and the public.   Its search capabilities and scope make this a good "one-stop" research site.

FindLaw-LawCrawler
Located on the Find Law site, this is the place to go if you want to type a search for a specific subject and don't want to browse topic lists. This search engine focuses exclusively on law-related materials.  Use the drop-down menu to limit your search to areas like the US Code.

Guide to Law Online
Maintained by the Law Library of Congress, trust this reliable site to locate "online sources of worldwide government and law information." Search the Global Legal Information Network database to locate legal information and laws contributed directly from the country discussed.

Jenkins Law Library Legal Links
A great place to start your research with hundreds of easily searchable links to choose from on a variety of legal topics.

The Virtual Chase: Teaching Legal Professionals How To Do Research
This Annotated Guide to Resources for Legal Professionals contains a large number of well-organized links that lead to primary and other sources in case, statutory, regulatory, state and local, and international law.  Also covers specific topics, such as Internet Law, and could be used as a starting point for many research topics.

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Reference

The Avalon Project
Yale's Law School hosts the Avalon Project; a collection of digital documents in the fields of Law, History, Economics, Politics, Diplomacy, and Government. Documents are sorted by century, from pre-18th to 21st.

Nolo's Legal Glossary
Look up basic legal terms like "spite fence" or "genericide" in this dictionary from Nolo Press, the publisher of self-help legal books.  Definitions are brief and written with the layperson in mind.

Duhaime's Legal Dictionary
Created by Canadian lawyer Lloyd Duhaime, this site seeks to explain the law in plain language. Explains legal terms relevant to the UK, USA, and Canada; includes historical references.

Legal Encyclopedia
Browse this online encyclopedia from Nolo Press for brief articles written in terms the layperson can understand.  Choose topics from the drop-down menus under each listed subject. For more comprehensive or definitive information, consult the legal encyclopedias in Hatch Library.

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Research Tips

Introduction to Basic Legal Citation  (LII 2003 ed.) by Peter W. Martin
Based on the sixteenth edition of the Bluebook, this primer spells out citation rules, shows proper formats, provides examples, explains abbreviations, and includes a table of contents and index. From Cornell Law School.

How to Shepardize
Learn the basics of shepardizing for print resources.

Understanding the Federal Courts
Part of the Federal Judiciary Homepage, this explanation of the US court system includes a glossary and a court directory. You will need the Adobe Reader to view this document.

Legal Research Guides
This well-organized site from the State Law Library of Wisconsin is a good place to go if you have questions about getting started with research in a particular area. Especially good for federal research.

Legal Resources
From the State Library of Massachusetts, this site explains Massachusetts primary and secondary law and offers links to those sources. Also provides links to law for other states and federal sources as well.

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Megasites

Legal Information Institute
From Cornell Law School, this site offers numerous federal, state, and international documents including the CFR, US Code, SC decisions; particularly useful are the brief summaries and overviews of law topics like alternative dispute resolution.  Attractive, comprehensive, and easy to use.

FedLaw
This well-organized government site has a Title and Topic index and links to Federal Laws and Regulations by Subject, the Judiciary, Legislative Branch, State and Territorial Law, Arbitration & Mediation, General Research & Reference, Professional Associations, and How-To Legal information.

Internet Law Library
Originally created by the House of Representatives to ensure public access to major documents of US Law, this site is now hosted by several private organizations; check for currency.  Includes the CFR, US Code, state laws, and international laws. Search by topic (e.g., animal rights), by state (includes constitutions and historical documents), or by countries of the world (flags, human rights reports, etc.).

HG.org - Worldwide Legal Directories
This site aims to be a "comprehensive law and government portal."  It includes directories to law associations, law schools, law firms, etc., and offers a law library and links to law-related discussion groups.  Topical guides on numerous subjects include international and national sources.

Jurist
Hosted by the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and edited by law professors, this site offers just about everything legal related on the web that you'd want to access.  Home page provides search tool to use or click on one of the subject directories to access information on: law school; teaching law; legal scholarship; legal news; legal research; or world law.

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Federal

Constitution of the United States
This site from the National Archives has the original text of the Constitution with amended areas in hypertext; includes the Bill of Rights, all other Amendments, and background materials.

U.S. Code
From the Legal Information Institute at Cornell, this site lets you search or browse the U.S. Code.

MacMillan Law Library at Emory University:  Federal Courts Finder
Links to primary laws from the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, U.S. Court of Federal Claims Federal Circuit, D.C. Circuit, and the First to the Eleventh Circuits.  Note:  Massachusetts falls under the United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit; Connecticut is under the United States Court of Appeals of the Second Circuit.

Code of Federal Regulations -- GPO Access
Search or browse the CFR at this government-sponsored site.

Thomas
Find current information on bills pending in Congress, the legislative process, historical documents; contains the Congressional Record.  Hosted by the Library of Congress.

GPO Access
This government site offers access to the executive, legislative, and judiciary branches, core documents of US history, as well as access to the CFR, Federal Register, Congressional Record, US Code.

Note:  If you do not find the Federal source you are looking for in the  links above, try the Legal Information Institute from Cornell University or the FedLaw site.

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Massachusetts

Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries
A good place to begin Massachusetts-related research.  Choose from Essential Links; Law by Subject; Laws, Regulations and Cases; and About the Law Libraries.  Selective rather than comprehensive; aimed at professionals and laypeople.

Official Website of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
A wealth of materials including links to state agencies and information on commonwealth communities.

General Laws of Massachusetts
A disclaimer on this government-sponsored site notes that this is not the official MGL, although "reasonable efforts have been made to assure the accuracy of the data."   Check the MGLA at Hatch Library.

Code of Massachusetts Regulations
This site indexes and links to the portions of the CMR that are available on the Web; provided by the Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries.

Massachusetts Court System
Offers an overview of the Supreme Judicial Court, Appeals Court, and Trial Court; includes names of justices, addresses, and explanations of offices and duties.

Social Law Library
Has slip opinions from the Massachusetts Appeals Court and the Supreme Judicial Court.

neighborhoodlaw.org
Created by Neighborhood Legal Services in Lynn, MA, this site offers basic legal information for Mass. residents including brochures and pamphlets on topics such as elder law, health, family law, consumer issues, and more.

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Connecticut

State of Connecticut Website
This searchable site has links to the executive, judicial, and legislative branches; also offers an extensive list of topics A-Z such as "lemon law" and "motor vehicles."

General Statutes of Connecticut
Provided by the Connecticut State Library.

State of Connecticut Judicial Branch
Links to the Supreme and Appellate Courts, Superior Court, and Probate Court; has a Judicial Directory and Frequently Asked Questions on topics such as Jury Duty.

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Law Journals

University Law Review Project
This site allows you to search the full-text of law journals available on the web; also provides a list of journals by topics such as Business Law.

MacMillan Law Library, at Emory University, Electronic Reference Desk:  Journals and Periodicals / Legal
This collection offers links to a large number of law journals.  Better for browsing than for finding articles on a specific topic.  Many sites offer table of contents only (no indexing), and some back issues.

Contents Pages from Law Reviews and Other Scholarly Journals
Offers access to the table of contents from over 750 law reviews and scholarly journals.  From Tarlton Law Library, this site is updated daily and covers the most recent three months of U.S. and international journals.  A good way to stay aware of current scholarship and locate recent research articles.

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Special Topics

Legalethics.com: The Internet Ethics Site
An award-winning site that "offers legal professionals a gateway to understand the unique ethical issues raised by the Internet and Internet technology."  This site is searchable and offers articles, links to ethics resources, including state and regional ones, a bibliography, and a web ethics discussion group.

Anatomy of a Murder:  A Trip Through Our Nation's Legal Justice System
Follow a fictional murder case and learn about a criminal prosecution as it would actually unfold. This site also includes an introduction to the legal system, a glossary, examples of actual court documents, information on landmark Supreme Court Cases, a list of controversial issues, and related law links.

Famous Trials
Created by Doug Linder, a law professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas, this fascinating site offers overviews, chronologies, primary source materials, and bibliographies on some of the most famous trials in the US and abroad.

Oyez:  US Supreme Court Multimedia
Take a virtual tour of the US Supreme Court building; find pictures, biographies, and voting records of all the SC justices from John Jay to the current bench; search for important SC cases by topics like gender discrimination.  Includes audio and video files which may require you to download software.

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Paralegal Profession

National Federation of Paralegal Associations
This site offers a wealth of information for paralegal students.  Includes legal resources, a career center, networking opportunities including chat rooms and listservs, and professional development and continuing education advice.

Massachusetts Paralegal Association
Part of the National Federation of Paralegal Associations; site has an application form, which includes membership in both MPA and NFPA.

NALA Homepage
The National Association of Legal Assistants offers legal links, paralegal news, events and publications information, and lists professional standards and ethics.

American Bar Association
The American Bar Association's homepage includes consumer and student information, current news from the ABA Newsroom. Search the site using the search box or by browsing the Topics A-Z list.

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Last updated: 09/27/13

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